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Quayle’s Brewery: A Homegrown Triumph


#SmallBusinessWeek #SBW2020 #OroMedonteStrong


To celebrate Small Business Week, we are featuring innovative small businesses located in Oro-Medonte. This year, we recognize entrepreneurial resilience and adaptation in the wake of the COVID19 crisis.

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Oro-Medonte’s most celebrated new farm brewery is a case study in determination and problem solving. Built on a stunning 87 acre property located on Line 12, the craft brewery and hops farm has become a popular go-to place for locals and tourists since first opening in May. It features a tasty seasonal menu and fourteen taps, a large outdoor patio, tasting room and acoustic lounge.


Yet the road to early success was not a smooth one. Though the plans to build and open the brewery had been underway since 2016, trouble began to brew when the Covid crisis hit in March. 


Owner Catherine Pearson explains: “We were scheduled to open right when Covid hit. But we were determined to not let it slow us down. To keep everyone safe we had to change the way our guests purchase beer and food while visiting us. Fortunately, we purchased a canning line in 2018 so we pivoted and launched our e-commerce website first. We started to sell our delicious craft beer through contactless curbside pick-up only. On opening day in May, we were sold out. ”


From the Ground Up


In early summer, Quayle’s established an extended, socially distanced patio and then reconfigured their indoor space to ensure the safety of guests and staff. They implemented additional safety protocols including installing plexiglass, asking guests to enter the tap room to place their orders, and providing staff with extra safety training.


They continued to adapt their business operations as the Covid situation and consumer needs evolved. For example, when Pearson and her business partner Graydon Lau noticed that early guests were curious to learn more about the hops and the brewing process, they responded by offering informative hour-long Hops Harvest Tours. The small group tours then sold out on most weekends.


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Forging the Path Forward


Strong support from the Oro-Medonte community provided the brewery’s hard-working operators with the motivation to keep building their business. “Our tables were full all summer,” says Pearson. “Our place gave people a safe place to gather while at the same time enjoy some delicious food and craft beer.”


Currently, the brewery is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only. As the weather gets cooler and the COVID crisis evolves, Quayle’s must continue to adapt their offerings to safely attract and satisfy guests. This winter, the brewery plans to add a skating rink and fire pit for people to come out and enjoy the fresh air. Come springtime, brewery operators plan to establish a sizable new garden with added outdoor space to better host gatherings like weddings, birthday parties or corporate events that had previously been deferred.


According to Pearson, Quayle’s Brewery strives to become a year round gathering place that is renowned for its craft beer and overall experience. “We want to share our great space with our community,” she says. “We are truly grateful for everyone’s support.”


For more information about Quayle’s Brewery visit quaylesbrewery.ca